Big Eds Blog - Be fair to fair weather riders
Wasn't last weekend's weather absolutely ridiculous? We went from snow in the north the weekend before to t-shirt tans and people complaining that 'they like it hot, just not THIS hot...' the following weekend.
I had the opportunity to take the new MCE Honda Fireblades out, and how could I refuse roaring around Northamptonshire in perfect weather conditions! It's a great location to ride, winding country roads lead in every direction and before you know it you're somewhere else, away from the daily grind and it feels like you've left your problems there.
I probably saw more bikes on the road in one day than I've seen since October last year, everyone with two wheels was out! It was great to see, I'm a bike nut so seeing every type of bike, young and old, big and small, was just fantastic. I stopped off at a little country pub and got chatting to some other bikers and it was brilliant, there was no small talk, just straight onto discussing the important things in life, bikes.
Someone asked me 'you're not one of them fair weather bikers are you, boy?' as he sized me up. Instinctively I scoffed and put him straight. Of course I'm not, everyone who knows me knows that I only acknowledge the weather when I'm choosing what gear to put on or what bike to take out.
However it was a question that stuck with me on the ride home - why does it matter, and why does he care? Is there any prestige to a rider who rides 365 days a year? If you choose to commute to work in your car when it's chucking it down, do you become a fair weather biker and no longer a proper one?
I'm going to speak for everyone here when I say no, no of course it doesn't. We all ride for different purposes and pleasures, and there isn't any honour in someone doing more miles than the other. My favourite rides of the year are summer Sunday rides, where I'm not going to work or to run an errand, to just be on the bike because I want to be on the bike.
I don't see the problem with keeping the bike in the garage over winter, or to only bring it out on a sunny day when you have the chance. I'd prefer that than for someone to bring it out of the garage because they feel obliged to, so that they don't get put on the spot by another rider who thinks it's any of their business.
My advice? Be on the bike as much as you want to be on it. The best response I've ever heard to the above question is 'I only drink champagne on special occasions because if I drank it every day it wouldn't be special anymore. That's why I don't ride when it's pissing it down.'
11.05.2016 - Big Ed